Hunting for the perfect patio in Leslieville? We continue our thirsty journey across the city profiling Toronto’s best patios.
Are you one of those sheltered urbanites who seldom makes the journey to the East end? Well, you’re missing out on a plethora of picturesque patios and, more importantly, some stellar brunch. Leslieville has solidified itself as a hub for quaint restaurants with a flair for local, fresh and affordable eats. Be sure to come early – most of these verandas aren’t open too late.
Joy Bistro features not one elegant patio but two: one facing Jimmie Simpson Park and one with a bit more privacy for a more romantic evening. Affectionately known as “the heart of the neighbourhood,” this eatery prides itself on locally sourced meat and vegetables. The crowd is usually a mix of avid brunchers and young professionals eloping for happy hour.
The Ceili Cottage
If you’re looking for the perfect Celtic pub with a homey Irish feel, Ceili (pronounced: “Kay-lee”) Cottage is for you. This spacious, sun-drenched patio can house almost 100 people and is perfect for kicking back and enjoying a pint with friends. Bonus: it’s heated for those rare chilly summer nights. Its street-side location is ideal for friendly conversation, people watching, and of course, enjoying Ontario’s weather. Don’t forget to try their specialty oysters.
Stratengers is a Leslieville favourite with a sizeable patio that can seat 70. There’s a rather eclectic mix of cuisines here – everything from Indian to Italian to “traditional” Canadian – and they all contribute to the restaurant’s laid-back atmosphere. Come here with friends for a pints and a quick bite to eat or enjoy your weekly Sunday brunch. Did we mention their big beautiful wood-burning stove for baking your favourite pizza? Yum.
Le Papillon Park
The original neighbourhood French restaurant of Toronto, Le Papillon Park is reminiscent of a Montreal bistro that’s perfect for date night or Sunday mimosas with friends. French doors open to the outside, letting the summer breeze blow in on sunny days. The real gem is their rooftop patio that backs onto an abundance of luscious emerald forestry. Brunch and dinner are both impressive.
If Leslie Jones were a person, you’d want to be her friend. This loungey restaurant has a cozy interior that makes you feel right at home. Then there’s the covered, tree-lined backyard patio so you can enjoy your pints in some much-needed shade. Their menu has a wide array of dishes but rests mainly on a Mediterranean vibe. Everyone is raving about their flourless chocolate torte with homemade caramel sauce, so pop over and give it a try.
Looking for some Canadiana comfort? You’ve found the right place. Brooklyn Tavern is home to some delectable pot-roasts, brisket burgers, and homemade soups. And a great back patio that makes you forget you’re even on Queen Street East. Kick back with a pint of craft beer under the twinkling fairy lights and enjoy.
Think you can’t get good food from a gas station? Think again. Not only does this place have a rooftop garden where they frequently pick their own produce from for their dishes, but they have a great picnic-style patio out front complete with shrubs and umbrellas. Try their famous pulled pork or corn fritters. With all its old school charm, Leslieville Pumps is the escape from the big-city Toronto hustle and bustle; it’s sure to be that small-town gas station where everybody knows your name.
Walking up to Te Aro, you probably wouldn’t guess that it used to be an auto repair shop. Now a modern coffee shop named after a New Zealand suburb, Te Aro specializes in a simple black cup of Joe and homemade cookies. Check out their patio if you’re looking for a quiet place to read a book and refuel. They also make some very pretty latte art.
This South American sandwich shop will complete you. Don’t be fooled by its small exterior; its Churrasco sandwich will rock your world. While Completo is take-out oriented, it does have a cute patio out front where you can enjoy the sunshine and some stellar authentic South American cuisine. Their full menu is also available down the street at Hitch.
Lil’ Baci offers an upscale twist on the traditional pizzeria, offering creatively decorated pies and an awesome selection of brews. It’s covered patio is great during the day, but it was really meant to shine at night – strings of lights run through the canopies above, creating a super romantic date spot. If you’re planning to swing by this one for some limoncello, you better come early because it tends to fill up fast.
WAYLA, or What Are You Looking At, is a marriage of the glamorous nightlife of France and the hip underground club scene of NYC. Though there isn’t much to look at due to WAYLA’s high wooden fence separating it from neighbours, the patio is hella cozy with with bright comfy cushions and bench seating. Expect the crowd here to be impeccably dressed and ready to chat – and don’t forget to try their $4 sangria!
Honourable Mention: Rashers
It’s all about the bacon here, so whether you’re an avid connoisseur or an occasional bacon eater, you need to try Rashers. Their sandwiches are made from a unique blend of only the best (ethically) sourced pork from a local farm, delicious buns with no preservatives, and delectable in-house sauces. If that doesn’t leave your inner bacon-lover salivating, nothing will. Though Rashers doesn’t have an official patio, it does feature a row of window facing seats and adorable vintage chairs out front to enjoy your bacon in the Ontario sun.
Did we miss any of Leslieville’s best patios? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.